How Trump’s immigration policies could put Americans out of work

From The Washington Post:

Donald Trump clarified his position on immigration in a speech Wednesday night, after weeks of public confusion about where he stands on the issue that has defined his campaign.

The Republican presidential nominee softened the tone of his campaign-trail promise to deport all 11 million immigrants believed to be living in the country illegally. He explained that while all undocumented immigrants would be subject to deportation under his plan, removing those who had committed crimes would be his administration’s priority if he were elected.

“In a Trump administration, all illegal-immigration laws will be enforced. As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities,” Trump said, adding, “Anyone who entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation.”

What this policy would mean in practice — how many immigrants would be forced to leave and how quickly — is unclear. A recent analysis by financial research firm Moody’s points to the possible economic consequences depending on how aggressively Trump enforces his plan.

If Trump forced millions of undocumented immigrants to leave the country, according to the analysis, many Americans would be put out of work. It’s counterintuitive: Trump’s supporters argue that forcing undocumented workers out of the country would create more jobs for native workers. Yet Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, pointed out that the relationship between undocumented and legal workers can be more complicated.

Zandi, who has advised Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) among other politicians in both parties, explains that deporting undocumented immigrants would increase costs for employers, since they would have to compete for the workers remaining in the United States, causing wages to rise. Already, the labor force has been shrinking as older workers retire, and the unemployment rate is under 5 percent, which suggests relatively …

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